The New England Scholastic Band Association

Friday April 03, 2020
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Winter Percussion




General Rules, Requirements, and Fees
Percussion Ensemble Classification
Order of Appearance
Contest Procedures
Rules and Penalties
Changes to Rules and Policy Procedures
Awards and Prizes



Eligibility for membership in a NESBA competitions will be enforced by the individual school system. School membership is now open to any student who lives in the city or town that a unit is from. This change also requires that the unit have written permission from a school administrative official telling the NESBA organization that the student does live in the city or town and that the school system, being represented by the unit, does support the students membership.

This will be accomplished when the Band Director submits a list of students who do not exceed secondary grade level (through grade 12)

That list must be signed by the Principal or Superintendent of the school system, before the first performance of your school.

It will then be submitted in writing to the President of NESBA, prior to the first competition of the Fall Band Season and also prior to the first competition Winter Guard / Percussion season.

Changes in the list must be reported in writing to the Executive Board  of NESBA as they occur.


ParticipationIn order to qualify for the Championship Finals, Percussion Ensembles must participate in a minimum of three (3) of the scheduled NESBA Contests. Festival Perc groups are required to perform in at least 1 regular season show and all first year groups,  no matter the class, are given the first year requirement of participating in at least 2 shows to qualify for finals.  All returning percussion ensembles must participate in at least 3 regular season shows to qualify for finals.  All ensembles must be full dues paying members and participate in all ticket requirements if needed

As of June 2011- any unit that participates in a LOCAL WGI Regional will receive show credit from NESBA towards finals.  We ask that all units continue to support all of our local shows and sponsors.

Performance Frequency, Dates and Sites

Performance dates will be determined by the member units at the Clinic Meeting.All of the Winter Activities Programs Contests will be percussion shows. If a show is to be a Percussion show, there must be at least threePercussion Ensembles being evaluated. Otherwise The Percussion Ensembles will perform in exhibition only (no Judging).

Saturday Contests will begin at: 2:00 pm

Sunday Contests will begin at:   12:00 pm

All shows should end by 10:00 pm on Saturdays, and 6:00pm on Sunday.

Arrangements may be made with the Executive Board for times other than those stated above. This request must be made in writing and at least 15 days in advance.

In order to be fair to all Sponsors, NESBA may request units attend a specific show.


Schools that are not currently NESBA members can join NESBA as a full voting member, the Fee is $400.00.

There is also a $75.00 per unit Contest Fee to be paid to each Sponsor. Maximum $150.00 per organization per show.

Full Membership Dues:  

Full Membership Dues: $400.00***  NESBA will send an invoice to each school/organization at the beginning of the season to request dues and finals fees. The information from your unit membership on he web is what we will use to send the invoice to you.  At the Sept or January meetings, the treasurer will also try to hand out as many invoices as possible.  If you have an invoice question please contact Cheryl Machado. ***If you have 2 units the Membership dues will be $450.00, three groups or more your membership dues will $500.00. (amended June 2010) Ex. a school with a band, guard and percussion ensemble will pay $500.00 dues for the entire year.

Finals Fee:  Each unit is required to sell one general (1) $15.00 ticket Per student per unit. (amended 6/2013)
(if you have 10 members in your group, you must sell 10 tickets ($150.00). Tickets will be available at the January all member meeting, and at the first two shows of the season. It is the responsibility of each unit director make sure the tickets are received and that all fees and tickets are paid in full by the championship event.

Scholastic vs. Independent Groups:  Membership eligibility

NESBA is established to promote scholastic eligibility for all schools in the area.  NESBA also has an open door policy for independent units to be part of the organization. It is the hope that all independent units respect the membership of scholastic units.  Recruiting from active scholastic programs is not looked upon favorably by the organization.  If a student has participated in a scholastic group and has the desire to move to an independent group, it is in the best interest of  this organization and all parties involved that the directors of each unit agree to such an idea and that it be made clear that the scholastic unit is allowing the student to participate in another organization.   NESBA therefore discourages independent groups from utilizing membership composed of any high school students who were previously enrolled in an active winter guard or percussion ensemble and have not yet graduated.

As of June, 2013-  All winter units will receive 9 badges for staff.  Each unit can purchase up to 7 more at $10.00 a piece.  This fee is payable to NESBA.


AMENDED Starting winter of 2014:

The Scholastic National Concert A, Scholastic National Concert Open, Scholastic National Concert World, Independent National Concert A, Independent National Concert Open, Independent National Concert World as well as Scholastic National Marching A, Scholastic National Marching Open, Scholastic National Marching World, Independent National Marching A, Independent National Marching Open, and Independent National Marching World classes will all be judged on the WGI National Norm. All other classes will be evaluated on a NESBA/Class Norm.   Please remember that if you compete in a national class at WGI you should be in that class at all NESBA events.  

Percentage tool bottom line each weekend. (Dates may change each season) 

Eval Show  No Scores

 up to 2/24  50%

3/3 and 3/4  60%

3/10 and  3/11  65%

3/17 and 3/18  70%

3/24 and 3/25  80%


Championships  85%


There will be 7 marching classes and 6 concert percussion class, and Festival/Non-Competitive Class for both marching and Concert

1) Marching Percussion Classes A, AA, Open and World, National A, National Open and National World.

These classes are based off of the criteria set up by WGI for all winter percussion ensembles.The WGI philosophy is educationally based on ability level and training.For detailed information regarding the class structure please refer to the WGI Percussion Rule Book and Philosophy. 

The classes will be developed according to the previous years placement.

If a group wishes to change the class they are in, they need to contact the Winter Activities Director.The first two weekends of the season will be used to make any adjustments to the classes. After that time, units will not be able to change classes. It is the intent of NESBA to make sure that all classes are educationally sound and balanced.

***Starting in 2010, the organization has started a new class, which is based on the A Class Marching Sheets, Percussion Class AA. This class was formed from the top groups in the previous years Marching Scholastic A Class.   All times, rules and sheets are based in the A CLASS CRITERIA.

2)Concert Percussion: A, Open, World, National A, National Open And National World classes.

Concert percussion units are defined as units how do not have any marching battery or percussion equipment while playing. The guard can be used but will receive no credit. If a guard member plays any piece of equipment they are considered a marching percussion in the unit will have to be reclassified.

3) Scores and re-caps are based off of the WGI scoring system.
Scores and placements will be announced at the end of each show.
Recaps will be distributed after a unit has attended critique.
For our Festival (non-competitive units) the scores will not be
announced. The medal rating of each unit will be announced at
the time of the award ceremony.
Sheets and tapes will be made available to all Festival Units.
The awards are Platinum, Gold,  Silver and Bronze.



 The Winter Activities Director will determine the Order of Appearance for Percussion Ensemble competitions, and will notify all units of such order prior to the Contest Date.

As of June 2014, The order of Appearance at all shows for percussion will be set up as follows, Festival Concert, All Concert A Classes, All Marching A Classes, All Open Concert, All Marching Open, All World Concert, All World Marching.  Festival Marching will take place after the A classes. (Festival classes can rotate in the order if requested by memebrship or show host to the NESBA Executive Board)

Championship order of appearance: This is determined by the number of shows a unit participates in. All winter classes seeding for finals will be determined by NUMBER OF SHOWS attended throughout the season. Points will no longer be utilized. In case of a tie average of scores from full season will be utilized. If there is a tie, because a unit was promoted from another class, the toss of a coin will determine placement at finals.

 It is the intent of the organization to reward those units who participate and support our member schools.    

The order of appearance for the Festival Marching Class and Concert Class will be determined by the 2 highest medal ratings an ensemble receives. If there is a tie in those ratings. the unit that participated in the most shows throughout the season will perform last.



 Performance Area

The Gymnasium Floor shall be considered the Performance Area for all Percussion Ensembles.

Performance Space Requirements

It is important that all show hosts have at least a 60 x 90 performance area for all groups to perform on.  On top of this, NESBA has a 5 foot safety zone that must be maintained around all areas of the 60x90 performance area to protect spectators from any injury. Show hosts will be required to supply this information when asked.  If a school can not fulfill this space requirement, a decision will have to be made as to wether that school can host an event.  

Performance Time

(Please note that NESBA is aware of space limitations in some schools.  We will try to work with each unit and sponsor to keep the show on time.  All Units are to be prepared to maintain the time schedule with as much help as possible to move equipment and props etc..)

Timing will begin from the first notes of music and will conclude with the last note of  music.  

The minimum performance time will be no less than 4 minutes for all classes.

The Maximum performance time will be no more than:

Marching and Concert Novice/Festival - 6 minutes

Marching and Concert A/AA - 6 minutes

Marching and Concert Open – 7 minutes

Marching and Concert World – 8 minutes.

Interval times will be:

Marching and Concert Novice/Festival- 9 minutes

Marching and Concert A/AA- 9 Minutes

Marching and Concert Open- 10 minutes

Marching and Concert World- 11 Minutes

Report Times and Step Off Times

Step Off times will be 12 minutes between all Marching units. This includes your
performance time, set-up and break down. This is a NESBA policy, not WGI!

Report Times will be 10 minutes prior to the assigned Step Off time.

Report Times and Step Off Times will be sent to each unit by the Winter Activities Director two (2) weeks prior to the event.

 Authorized Instruments:

Instrumentation will be limited to those instruments that could be used for performance by a marching band Percussion Ensemble. Electric bass and synthesizer will be permitted.


Each unit will be expected to provide its own equipment.

All equipment must be taped so that it will not damage the Gymnasium Floor.

NESBA will not be responsible for any damage to performance area, gyms, class rooms, locker rooms, etc.


Uniforms for Percussion Ensemble performers are not required but are encouraged.


Code of Conduct

All schools and units must abide by the NESBA "Code of Conduct" as defined herein.

Delay In Contest

A two (2) point penalty shall be assessed for any unit causing a delay in smooth and consistent flow of any contest, unless they have received prior approval from the NESBA Activities Director or Contest Coordinator.

Reporting Late

There will be a two (2) point penalty assessed for reporting late to the gate.


There will be a 1/10 (.10) penalty for every three (3) seconds or fraction thereof for any Overtime or Undertime infractions.

Units who are more than 30 seconds overtime will not receive any award for their appearance that day.

Units who are more than 30 seconds overtime in a second show will face Disqualification from the Championship Finals.

 COPYRIGHT    NESBA highy suggests that all units be attentive to copyright policies and requirements when using music, spoken word etc..  WGI and DCI have great resources on their web sites for works that are restricted for use.  NESBA is not a clearing house for copyright issues and we try to give the best information we can to all involved.

Illegal Equipment:

The use of illegal equipment could be grounds for Disqualification from the Contest.

 Dropping Out of A Contest:

A penalty will be given to any unit who drops out of any NESBA Contest if they do not notify the Sponsor and Activities Director no less than (21) days prior to that particular event.

The penalty for failure to do so will be as follows:

A $200.00 fine will be assessed per unit and

The $200.00 fine must be paid to teh SHOW HOST of the event missed... before any subsequent appearances will be allowed. (Please hand the check to a NESBA official to guarantee payment)


"Coaching" is defined as attempting to provide assistance or direction to a unit in competition. This is only a consideration during a unit’s performance.

Coaching will result in a two (2) point penalty which may be assessed only by the NESBA Coordinator.



 TROPHIES are no longer required for 1st 2nd and 3rd placement. Show sponsors MUST provide a 1" medal with ribbon to place around the neck of each 1st 2nd and 3rd placement of each class. ALL Festival Class unit leaders must receive a medal for participation in the event. (amended as winter 2010)

At championships all units will receive a medal or trophy for participation and the awarding of medals to all competitive class champion members will take place.

The awards in each competitive class are based on placement 1st, 2nd 3rd etc..which are determined by the total of the evaluation score sheets.   Scores and placements are announced for each competitive percussion class.

The percussion Festival Class will receive awards that are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.  The Festival Class is a non-competitive class that uses the total score to determine medal ratings only. No scores are announced for the Festival Class.

Medals for Percussion:

Platinum 95-100
Gold 85 to 94.99
Silver 75-84.99
Bronze 45-74.99